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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

HI        THE CHURCH OF SS. SERGIUS AND BACCHUS        73
alternately verd antique and red Synnada marble, resting on bases of the blue-veined white marble from the island of Marmora. The capitals on the lower order are of the beautiful type known as the  melon capital/ a form found also in San Vitale at Ravenna and in the porch of S. Theodore in Constantinople (p. 246). The neckings are worked with the capitals, and enriched by c egg-and-dart5 pointing upwards. In the centre of the capitals was carved the monogram of Justinian or that of Theodora. Most of the monograms have been effaced, but the name of the empress still appears on the capital of the western column in the south bay, while that of Justinian is found on the first capital in the south-western bay ; on both capitals in the north-western 'bay, accompanied by the title Basileus ; and, partially, on the last capital In the north-eastern bay.
In the soffit of the architrave are sunk panels of various patterns, the six-armed cross occurring twice. The bead-ings of the fasciae are enriched with the designs commonly known as crope/ c bead-and-reel/  egg-and-dart/ and again c bead-and-reel.'
The frieze is in two heights. The lower portion is a semicircular pulvinar adorned with acanthus leaves, deeply undercut ; the upper portion Is occupied by a long inscription in raised ornamental letters to the honour of Justinian, Theodora, and S, Sergius. The cornice Is decorated with dentils, c bead-and-reel/ projecting consols, c egg-and-dart/ and leaves of acanthus.
The Inscription (Fig. 20) may be rendered thus : Other sovereigns, indeed, have honoured dead men whose labour was useless. But our sceptred Justinian, fostering piety, honours with a splendid abode the servant of Christ, Creator of all things, Sergius ; whom nor the burning breath of fire, nor the sword, nor other constraints of trials disturbed ; but who endured for the sake of God Christ to be slain, gaining by his blood heaven as his home. May he in all things guard the rule of the ever-vigilant sovereign, and increase the power of the God-crowned Theodora whose mind is bright with piety, whose toil ever is unsparing efforts to nourish the destitute.